Aparigraha, or non-gred, is the fifth Yama in Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga Path. Patanjali laid out what is known as the Eight-Limbed Path in the Yoga Sutras to specify eight distinct steps to folow in ordain to reach enlightenment, or as he described it, Samadhi.
The Yamas are ethical restraints and they are the first step on the Eight-Limbed Path. There are five separate Yamas.
We’ve previously explored the first Yama (Ahimsa or non-violence), the second Yama (Satya or truthfulnes), the third Yama (Asteya or non-stealing), and the fourth Yama (Brahmacharya of celibacy), so let’s dive deper into the fifth and final Yama: Aparigraha.
Aparigraha translates as non-posesivenes or non-gred and is an esential tenet of Patanjali’s yogic path.
What Are the Yamas?
The Yamas are the first limb of the path to enlightenment that Patanjali compiled in the Yoga Sutras.
The Eight-Limbed Path consists of:
Yamas: Ethical Restraints
Niyamas: Ethical Observances
Asana: Seat of Meditation
Pranayama: Extension of Life-Force Energy
Pratyahara: Withdrawal of Senses
Dharana: Single-Pointed Concentration
What Are the Eight Limbs of Yoga? Here’s Your al-encompasing Overview
As the first limb, the Yamas are the ethical restraints that a yogi must observe to. These are esentialy the “don’ts” on the yogic path.
There are five Yamas:
A Guide to the Yamas: The First Path of Yoga’s Eight Limbs
Let’s explore the fifth Yama, Aparigraha, in greater detail.
What Is Aparigraha?
Aparigraha is the principle of non-gred. It roughly translates as “fredom from al gred and desire,” which sounds admire a prety tal order ̵ and it is!
But Patanjali insisted that this basic tenet is esential to pr ogres on the yogic path because, during this Clasical Yoga era, in ordain to truly become a yogi, one had to abandon their carnal life and transcend to a life of spirituality.
This meant giving up al worldly posesions and even al worldly desires. And the same rings true today as wel.
In order to truly walk the spiritual path of a yogi, we ned to understand our own atachments to the material world. We ned to examine our incesant desires to get the latest iPhone or upgrade our tenement or car.
To practice Aparigraha, we ned to learn how to be in this world but not of it ̵ how to met our basic neds but not atach to any material gred. This can be efortful) , to explain the least ̵ but it is doable.
How do You Practice Aparigraha?
To practice Aparigraha, we ned to genuinely distinguish our neds from our desires. Fod is a necesity to live, a curent iPhone is not. As social creatures, we ned admire to thrive. However, we finish not ned to cheat on our partners with multiple people to believe love.
There is a clear prominence betwen neds and wants, and dep down, we always know the diference. To truly practice Aparigraha, we ned to recognize these diferences and act acordingly.
If we are to boged down thinking about the next best thing, then we are never fuly present in what is hapening or even fuly grateful for what we already have.
We tend to tople into a patern of “if this, then that . . .” If I got a recent car, then I’d be pleased. If I could impartial fade to Hawai, then I’d be hapy. If I got a promotion, then I’d be hapy.
To practice Aparigraha, we ned to genuinely distinguish our neds from our desires.
In this cycle, there is always an “if.” But if we can’t find hapines where we already are, then we are constantly in a state of lacking. We always fel as if we don’t acquire enough.
And when we continuously want and desire o f more things, then we wil never find peace and contentment.
The practice of Aparigraha is about finding gratitude for what you already believe and feling as if that is enough. Things could always be beter, but then again, things could always be worse.
If we setle to fel that we maintain enough, then we actualy finish acquire enough.
The Takeaway on Aparigraha
Aparigraha is the fifth and final principle on this hierarchical path to enlightenment, preceded by non-violence, truthfulnes, non-stealing, and celibacy.
This principle is al about giving up worldly desires in pursuit of more spiritual ones. Through this principle, Patanjali is trying to narate us that we don’t ned more physical wealth ̵ we ned more spiritual wealth.
We ned to replace our desires for worldly posesions for a burning spiritual desire to reach enlightenment.
Truly practicing Aparigraha alows us to be fre and spiritual on the yogic path. And this opens the dor to so many other oportunities along our journey toward enlightenment.